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What is a Hypno-Doula?

Doula Miranda Richardson supporting Val Stow during her water birth

It is wonderful to have a doula (professional birth assistant) during your Birthing Time (especially if you’re having a hospital birth) to help you with your Birth Preferences and to be a nurturing presence; one that knows so many ways to help your Birthing Time progress and remain more comfortable if needed, etc. Many “hypnobirthing” moms are choosing this wonderful option now, and here are a few helpful thoughts:

As a Hypnobabies mom, it is extremely important that the doula you choose become completely familiar with the philosophy, techniques, cue words and other materials in your Hypnobabies program. All of our Hypnobabies hypnosis scripts and audio tracks have specific suggestions, language and other content which re-train the inner mind for an easy, comfortable birthing.  These “hypno-tools” must be learned, practiced and used by Hypnobabies mothers as directed in our written materials for the best outcome.

Most traditionally trained doulas (non-Hypno-Doulas) are unfamiliar with what hypnosis is, how powerful it can be when learned, practiced and used appropriately and how hypnosis can create a much easier, more comfortable or even pain-free birth experience. They are also unfamiliar with our very important Hypnobabies hypno-tools, language, practice schedules and easy, comfortable natural (unmedicated) birth outcomes. Hypnobabies’ philosophies and extensive training are extremely different than most natural childbirth techniques and they produce very different birthing experiences.  Traditional natural childbirth “comfort techniques” are often based on the belief and training that all unmedicated childbirth *will be* painful, and they require that the birthing woman maintain much more physical activity to “avoid unnecessary pain”. Many birth care attendants are unfamiliar with the fact that using Hypnobabies’ hypnosis entails much more “inner focusing” and employs specific mental, emotional and physical cues that have been “entrained” subconsciously for use during childbirth.


If a doula was to attempt to use her traditional doula training techniques for pain-coping with a Hypnobabies mother during her Birthing Time, that Hypno-mom’s prior hypnosis training could be compromised since she is in hypnosis during childbirth and therefore very suggestible. To enjoy the easiest, most comfortable childbirth experience possible, only Hypnobabies phrases and techniques should be used with a Hypnobabies birthing mother so that she can remain in deep hypnosis and continue to maintain the exact state of mind she requires. No additional traditional childbirth “comfort” phrases, techniques or “warnings” should be used. Traditional “pain-coping and pain-management” techniques can create some very adverse effects for Hypnobabies mothers prenatally and during childbirth. Although a Hypno-mother’s deep hypnotic state creates physical, emotional and mental comfort and relaxation, being in that state makes her more vulnerable to negative suggestions made right in the moment.  We need to avoid reversing the effects of hypnosis suggestions that our moms have been practicing for months in order to have a safer, easier and more comfortable birth.


In addition, encouraging a Hypno-mom to constantly move around to maintain any sort of comfort may be familiar to some birth assistants, however it is counter-productive when a Hypnobabies mother has been taught that emotional and physical comfort in childbirth comes from their Hypnobabies hypno-tools and training.  Hypnobabies moms can indeed use upright positions, birth balls and walk at any time that they want to, but this will be for birthing progress if needed, or descent and positioning of their babies, and usually not to maintain comfort. Unless a doula is familiar with all of this, she may not help a Hypnobabies mother in the ways she truly needs to give birth using hypnosis.


One of the best ways to make sure your doula becomes familiar with and trained in Hypnobabies is to bring her to your Hypnobabies Class!

Doulas are always welcome and certainly learn a great deal from being there with you in class.

If you are studying Hypnobabies with our Home Study Course for Expectant Mothers, your doula can order our Hypno-Doula Training Bundle which teaches traditionally trained doulas to easily work with our terrific Hypnobabies couples and support them in a much more helpful and effective way. You or your doula can order it in the Hypnobabies Official Store.

Please note: Unless a Hypno-Doula is also a Certified Hypnobabies Instructor, she cannot teach a Hypnobabies Class of any kind. 

A Trained Hypno-Doula can easily:

  1. Learn and practice Hypnobabies techniques and hypno-cues ahead of time with the Hypno-couple in a few Birthing Rehearsals, as well as use only Hypnobabies language and techniques at all times. This reinforces your practice and helps form a bond between you and your doula.

  2. Be a liaison for the couple with hospital staff, explaining that they need darkness, solitude and quiet, keeping distraction to a minimum, etc.

  3. Learn and use hypnotic Deepening techniques with the Hypno-mom, for use in Transformation (transition) stage.

  4. Help with Fear Clearing and hypno-cues during your Birthing Time (trading off with the Birth Partner when he/she is tired, but not replacing the Birth Partner).

  5. Learn and use Hypnobabies pushing techniques and with the Hypno-mom, for use in her pushing stage.

  6. Help the Hypno-mom get up to change positions or go to the bathroom immediately after a birthing wave is over as the mom has learned to do. This and many other Hypno-Doula training techniques help the Hypnobabies birthing mother to remain in hypnosis as she changes positions, using Birth Prompts and her “Lightswitch” and “Peace” cues.

  7. Remember that positional changes and upright positions are mainly used for descent and positioning of the baby and not for comfort in a Hypnobabies birth. When using hypnosis for childbirth, physical comfort comes from using hypnosis to flow deeper inside the inner mind, which also creates the deepest physical relaxation possible.

Questions for a Hypnobabies Mom to Ask When Interviewing a Doula:

  1. Where were you trained and how long have you been a birthing assistant?

  2. How many births have you attended as a doula?

  3. Are you a Hypnobabies trained Hypno-Doula?

  4. If not, do you have any experience or knowledge of using hypnosis for childbirth? If so, what?

  5. If you are not a trained Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula, would you be willing to learn Hypnobabies techniques and read materials that will allow you to birth-assist me in my Birthing Time?

  6. Are you willing to do at least one Hypnobabies birthing rehearsal with me and my birth partner?

  7. Are you willing to use only the Hypnobabies course language that I/we have been learning and practicing?

  8. Describe your role in my birthing: What exactly will you do and what techniques will you use?

  9. How many times will I see you before the birth?

  10. When will you come to attend me in my Birthing Time?


More specific questions you may want to ask:

  1. What other services do you offer? (Breastfeeding support, postpartum for mom and dad, new baby care, etc.)

  2. Tell me about your experience with birth, personally and in your practice.

  3. What is your philosophy about childbirth and supporting women and their partners through their Birthing Time? 4. What care providers have you worked with in our area?

  4. What do you think is the most important part of your job?

  5. Are there any limits to your availability?

  6. Do you have a back-up Hypno-Doula for times when you are not available; and may we meet with her?

  7. In what hospitals have you attended births?

  8. May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?

  9. Do you meet with me (us) after the birth to review our birth and answer questions?

  10. What is your fee, and what does it include?

  11. Are there two of your past clients whom I may call?

Hypno-Moms: Please remember that your decision to learn, practice and use Hypnobabies for your baby’s birth is a very intelligent one that includes a few special needs, and if you are choosing to have a doula at your birth, you would do well to choose a trained Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula.

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